Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Marriage

How do people learn how to be married? Most say just by watching their parents interact. I do agree that what you experience in regards to marriage growing up matters, but I think there is much more to it than that.

My parents are still married, so, by most standards, people may say that I have a good idea of what a marriage should look like.

haha.

I have no idea how to be married. I know there are rules about communication and fairness and all that stuff, and I'm still learning all of it, but what does it take to be a marriage that glorifies God? I mean, Rick and I still argue about the laundry, how in the world are we supposed to focus on the big things when we're so stuck on the little things?

I really wonder how we've made it as far as we have and through all of the things that we've been through. I can do nothing but give God the glory in bringing us through it, but did we glorify Him in the process? Now that we're through the rough stuff and back to the mundane, how do we make Him shine through it?

I'm clueless.

4 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

You ask great questions and when you learn the answers, I hope you'll travel cross-country giving seminars. I'll be the first to sign up!

One way that your marriage glorifies God is that it's still intact after really difficult times. But you have a great question that applies not just to marriages, but to all of us: "Now that we're through the rough stuff and back to the mundane, how do we make Him shine through it?" The Lord is gloriously in the mundane, as much as He is in the storms. The danger is becoming bored and/or lethargic in the mundane -- especially when, like in your marriage, you may have gotten used to living on adrenaline!

I recently posted this quote on my blog: From Beth Moore in Beloved Disciple, "The beauty of choosing to glorify God alone and to pursue a love for Him beyond all else is that every other thing of authentic value comes in the package." To me that means that as each of you go deeper in with the Lord, you will go deeper in with your marriage.

I think the fact that you are simply asking the question and seeking the answer is glory to God. Thanks for being a seeker!

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Don't be too concerned about conflict and agruments. Sure if they are huge blowups and happen frequently over small things then you need to get immediate help.

The following is my opinion--for better or worse

We often have a false expectation that great marriages are perfect. What a crock. Great marriages are ones in which the love and companionship endure and supercede the struggles and day to day annoyances that are perfectly normal when two people live together forever.

When you really think about it, it is very silly to contemplate spending so much time around someone else that you have an emotional attachment to and then expect to have no disagreement, agrument, or conflict.

Rephrase that a little and you see how silly it is: I can be with this person day after day in every situation imaginable and it makes perfect sense that we will be in constant agreement, have exactly the same feelings and opinions, etc.

It is not whether or not you argue over the laundry that makes a good or bad marriage, it is how you argue over laundry and how you feel about each other afterward that makes a good or bad marriage.

If you can have a complete disagreement over something, that disagreement is civil, and once the situation is over you carry no baggage from it, that is a sign of an excellent marriage in my opinion.

Marriage is joyous, sad, hard, messy, wonderful, and easy. That is the norm. A marriage between two believers whose happiness and easiness with each other grows through all this glorifies God.

Finally, consider marriage counseling. Not because or when you need it. Just as a normal, preventative maintenance kind of thing. I highly recommend it. I found it extremely beneficial. For reference see Erinlo's Post on Marriage

Tony

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Three things:

First, conflict—or lack thereof—is not related to the presence of God in your life. In other words, God isn’t around when things are going well, and God isn’t gone when you have a fight.

The most important aspect of conflict is how it is resolved. In my humble opinion, that’s what’s most important to God too—not the fight, but how we handle the pain and suffering of another after the fireworks are over. That’s why murder and envy and pride and war are all such horrible things; when we fail to work through conflict we lose intimacy with our fellow human beings. Conversely, reconcilliation brings us closer together. (This is especially true in marriage.)


“Now that we're through the rough stuff and back to the mundane, how do we make Him shine through it?”

Secondly, I don’t know what—if anything—that I do brings glory to God. I have gotten through many years of uncertainty by leaning on a prayer of Thomas Merton: “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing . . .” (Thoughts in Solitude)

And finally, I’m glad to see you are posting again. I have missed reading your blog!

The Humble Advice of a Twenty-Eight-Year-Old,

Matt

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Merton is so powerful. A great recommendation.

Tony

 

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